78 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2013 12:32 PM by Mykll RSS

How much are you saving monthly with Nest?

 Sandy Explorer

I Would love to know some numbers,on savings?

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    At this point, I'm a bit over $10/month savings--I've had my Nest for about 14 months now.  I think there's still some things I can adjust/tweak to increase my monthly savings--especially harnessing 'away' feature.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Expert

    I save about 30% on my heating bill.

     

    Most of that can be attributed to just having a schedule, I think - our apartment is a really long Victorian, with three zones. There were three manual thermostats before, and often we'd turn up the heat in the dining room zone for dinner and forget about it when we went to bed. Now it just goes down to 50º on its own every night.

     

    I also try not to rely on Auto-Away, since it waits to make sure you're gone before turning on. My schedule turns the heat down every week day around 8 and turns up again around 7 when I come home. And if we're leaving for the weekend, I always try to remember to set it to Away as we walk out the door.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    I've noticed about $10-20/month - although if I wanted to, I could probably eek out some more savings.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Expert

    I think probably $20-30 a month on AC and about the same on Heat.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Rob-Montreal Contributor

    $100 for the last 2 month bill ending mid January.NESTv1 paid for itself in 11 months.  NESTv2 has already paid for itself in less than 4 months

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     woodgeek Guru

    I saved ~$50 on AC this past summer, about 20%.

     

    This winter however, nest is costing me ~$30-50 more per month (about 12%), because it is not calling my heat pump stages properly.

     

    I am sure they will fix that soon.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    I've actually lost on average about $120 per month switching to Nest. My average kWh has nearly doubled since installing the Nest two months ago (using data provided by my power company below)

     

    Nest was installed on 12/15/12 Below

    Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 1.06.19 PM.png

     

    I've spent nearly two hours on the phone with Nest Support and we have come to the conclusion that my new HVAC/Heat Pump is one of the 5% that are incompatible with the Nest, despite the website compatibility tool saying otherwise.

     

    This is heartbreaking, especially since I work for a mobile app company and just completed a company-wide R&D presentation outlining the joys of owning a Nest. From UI to ease-of-installation, this product was a winner, but when the last power bill came in, the Nest was instantly removed and will be heading back to Amazon for a refund.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    I think I'm saving about $5 a month when I'm heating - I try not use much heat and don't have AC. I'd say most of the savings are from Auto-Away. I used to take off for the weekend all the time and completely forget about the thermostat.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    I am saving $15-$40 per month, my Nest has probably almost paid for itself.  I live alone and rarely come straight home after work, so my savings are from not having a schedule for heat to come on automatically in the evenings, I just turn the heat on from my iPhone an hour or two before I will be home.  Also if I'm staying with my girlfriend I just set it to Away.  I love it and would recommend to anyone!

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    In 2012 I saved $800 thanks to Nest. I have two thermostats in my home. Most of those savings came during the summer, $100 a month. In winter months it is harder to say, it has been on average 19° F colder this winter than last so it is harder to figure out how much I'm saving.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Contributor

    Away really makes a difference for me. On days when I set Away, or Auto-Away kicks in well, I use about 30% less heating. Alas, Auto-Away is still fairly unreliable, but I hope it will get better over time.

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Expert

      30% is delightful! Nicely done.

       

      And just to clarify things, Auto-Away doesn't turn on when you set Nest to Away manually. If you set it to Away manually, Nest will stay in Away until you take it out. Auto-Away and Away are pretty much the same thing - it's just that Auto-Away happens when Nest senses nobody's home, while Away is you telling Nest nobody's home.

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Explorer

      My question to all who say they are saving is what thermostat did you have prior to Nest? Was it a analog programmable or a thermostat (on/off). We had a programmable which we had programmed weekday/weekend temp settings and it set the temperature for night time and approx. when we were away during the day was programmed into it.  No intelligence other than what was programmed into it for the most efficient temperature depending on time of day.  Nest must develop an energy optimization setting to minimize energy consumption. Since I have installed the nest it's increased our energy consumption by 1.5 times min. over last years consumption.  It was no colder than last year if not milder.  I've dumbed the Nest unit so it is basically a over priced programmable that I previously had attached prior to Nest.   It's frustrating as I expected a reduction and it with the additional cost of the Nest ($249) and additional gas consumption cost for the last 6 months ($300) it's turned out to be an expensive mistake.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    I installed NEST mid 2012, I saved about $275 on my electric bill and about $320 on my gas bill over several months in 2012. Thank you NEST. It's nice to save money, but I am blown away by the tech factor, I can control everything from my mobile devices, NEST is constantly looking to improve an already amazing product AND they don't want to hit me with an "upgrade" fee, etc. when they do add new features. I like the "change air filter" feature. Rather than changing the air filter on a regular basis, you can now change it based on how long it has been used. Genius.

     

    The numbers are based on a single family home in the midwest USA, 2,500SF with no basement and one 5 year old HVAC system.

    nest_numbers.jpg

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    I live in Southern Idaho:

     

    I bought my 1st generation NEST in December 2012 days after purchasing our home.  Our home is a manufactured home built in 2002, 3 bed 2 bath 1400 sq ft on a permanent foundation.  It has electric forced air heating and air conditioning.  We heat to 67 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night.  Time schedule is this: 9 AM 67 degrees, 9:30 PM 65 degrees. No variations from that on certain days.  We use the Away feature when we are gone but Auto Away kicks in if we forget but that is the only modification to the schedule (Away temp is 63).

     

    The previous owner's city utility bill averaged $220-$230 in the winter and $160-$170 in the summer.

     

    January 2013 was 15 degrees colder on average due to a 3 week long temperature inversion we had.  Daytime highs rarely reached 15 degrees and night time lows were -10 to -15 degrees every night.

     

    Because of that I thought our city utility bill (includes sewer, water, electricity, and garbage) would be sky high.  BOY WAS I WRONG!

     

    Our first full month's city utility bill using nest was $207 even with the super cold temps.  Granted that is our first month and only shows a $13-$23 savings BUT I will take what ever I can get!

     

    Over the long term the NEST will pay for itself as long as it continues to save energy!

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    We installed mid September 2012. Our home is all electric and our prior thermostat was not programmable.  We use to set it at 68 around the clock to help with savings.  We run our home at 71 now when we are at home and 65 when away.    Our savings this winter paid for the new thermostat.  And we will surely benefit next summer.  One of the bonuses, is the ability to tell if you have power at home, for those off us that lose power during bad weather, just log on to the nest by your phone or PC and when the furnace runs your house icon lights up.  You have power!  image.jpg

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    I had my Nest for 2 full months now. I live in Minnesota and have a basic heat pump system. This year has been almost 10 degrees colder than last year on average for the months of December and January. My gas bill has been $50 higher total over those two months, BUT my electricity bill has been nearly cut in half and was $60 cheaper. So, the winter has been colder but I have saved $5 a month on my energy bills.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Breezy_Point Contributor

    I had my nest installed for 20 days in January. My heat bill for January was $24 more than January last year. The reason is that the average temperature was 8 degrees colder and I was in my home almost the entire month, compared to only two weeks last year (during those two weeks last year, my thermostat was set to 48 degrees). In terms of actual energy usage, I used only about 20 more therms than last year, so I am guessing the Nest actually performed quite well. I will be watching carefully the next two months and am going to start tracking temperature, occupancy and therm usage/cost so I can get really good year over year comparisons. I actually have an extremely detailed weather historWinford's five years now, so I think in a year I will have a very good comparison.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    I try not to go by $$$ since energy prices change monthly. I installed my Nest 2.0 in Nov so I don't count that month but I do have the numbers for Dec, Jan and Feb (My monthly cycle starts early).

    I use Natural Gas for heating which my energy company measures in CCF

     

    Date / Usage / Avg Temp / Change from Prev Year

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Feb 2013 / 29 CCF / 58F / Plus 4 CCF & Minus 2F Avg Temp

    Jan 2013 / 37 CCF / 54F / Minus 3 CCF & Minus 2F Avg Temp

    Dec 2012 / 14 CCF / 59F / Minus 7 CCF & Minus 1F Avg Temp

    Feb 2012 / 25 CCF / 60F

    Jan 2012 / 34 CCF / 56F

    Dec 2011 / 21 CCF / 60F

     

    Although these numbers aren't spectactular my previous thermostat was a 7 day a week 4 times a day programmable thermostat. My nest has very similar settings to my previous programmable theromstat so whatever savings I'm seeing are probably the result of the auto-away feature which my prior thermostat didn't have. I also have a 4 month old child so I've probably overidden the program more often this winter than I did last winter do to complaints from my wife about being too cold for the baby.

     

    This summer will be the true test for me since our South Louisiana summers are usually pretty brutal thanks to heat AND humidity.

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
       Breezy_Point Contributor

      I Think you are right on with using actual gas consumption as a metric!

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      New Nester

      It's great that your gas company gives you +/- from previous year.  If you really want to know how much you're saving, not only do you have to measure gas consumption (instead of price; it's cheaper this year than last), but you also have to measure electrical use if you have forced air, since the heater's fan might be the biggest consumer of electricity in your house.  Then you have to factor in the number of heating days this winter compared to last winter.  And you also have to set up your program and not change it for at least a year, since adjustments are going to invalidate your comparison.  I installed my Nest in March of last year so I'm waiting for my March bills this year to compare.

      At the same time, I just turned off my thermostat from an airplane 30k feet over the Cascades.  It's Friday morning and my house will be at 55 degrees until a couple of hours before I get home Monday, when I will turn it back on from my phone.  I have two kids ages 5 and 2, which means a) leaving for the weekend is a cat-herding exercise and we always forget to turn the heat off, and b) the house better not still be 55 degrees when we get home, or there will be mutiny!  Regardless of monthly savings, the ability to control your thermostat anywhere, any time is what makes Nest priceless.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Logjammer Champion

    I am in Austin Texas, so heating is not a big thing here.  On Heat my utility bill is about the same as it was before the Nest.

     

    Last summer my electric bills were up slightly because of the Nest and the comfort level was much worse with the Nest.

     

    The problem the Nest has with my AC system is what Nest calls Maintenance Band.  Maintenance Band is the + or - range that centers around the set point to keep the system from cycling on and off too frequently. 

     

    My AC system doesn't cycle on and off enough with the Nest which causes wide fluctuations in temp and inadequate humidity control. 

     

    The other problem with the Nest, that is causing me to use more energy is not being able to easily program a set point to a fraction of a degree.  During the day on heat a 68 degree setting is comfortable and a 67 is not.  I would love to program the Nest to 67.6 or so, but it is really difficult to do.   

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
       Breezy_Point Contributor

      Logjammer I am curious what thermostat you had before that had a lower maintenance band. The thermostat I replaced with the Nest had a customizable maintenance band with a default of 2 degrees. The minimum you could set was 1 degree. I also replaced a thermostat in my second home with a Nest. The maintenance band on that thermostat was fixed at 2 degrees. Also, the maintenance band on my gas fireplace thermostat is also 2 degrees.

       

      In terms of being able to set the temp to increments of less than one degree, this probably exceeds the accuracy level of most thermometers. This exceeds the accuracy of most professional weather stations. CWOP (Citizens Weather Observer Program) allows a +- 2 degree deviation for a weather station to be considered 'two thumbs up'.

       

      i am certainly not trying to be critical here, just wondering if your expectations could really be met and if they were met before, what technology you had that met those expectations.

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
       Breezy_Point Contributor

      Here's another thought that may or may not be useful to you.

       

      Do you have a two stage A/C? If so was your previous thermostat managing the staging or was your A/C managing the staging? Did you change this when you installed the Nest?

       

      i would guess you didn't mess with the staging, but if you did change it, it could be a source of the difference. I have a two stage furnace, and I switched to allow Nest to manage the staging. I now have a MUCH more comfortable home as Nest runs in stage 1 most of the time. This results in longer run times at a lower output level. This effect is that the air in my home is much more balanced.

       

      Just a thought, maybe it would be useful to you.

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      New Nester

      If you house is getting cool without dehumidifying then your unit is sized incorrectly. For example if you put a 5 ton unit in a house that should have a 3 ton it will get to the proper temp quickly but not run long enough to dehumidify  An a/c professional can audit your house and tell you if that's the case.

      Air Conditioning Repair - Oversized Cooling System

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
         Logjammer Champion

        My unit is sized correctly.  I have a 2.5 ton unit and a 1500 square foot wood frame house in Austin, Texas.  My system is a 14 SEER American Standard.  American Standard is simply a rebranded Trane. 

         

        With my old thermostat I had alway achieved low humidity and a temperature fairly close to the set point.  With Nest the temperature feels out of control.NEST FB ready screen shot.png

         

        Looking at the screen shot.   You can see that the AC, when it comes on it typically runs longer than it does when it is on Heat.  I get too warm then the AC comes on, and it gets too cold because it runs too long.  Then since it is so far below the set point it takes several hours to cycle again.

         

        It comes down to hysteresis and not being able to easily program an exact set point, say 77.6 F

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Logjammer Champion

    Sandy,

     

    The thermostat that was replaced with the Nest was my original analog thermostat that came with my system from 1996.   It doesn't have any kind of fancy adjustment or control, it had a simple bimetallic spring and a mercury bulb like the pic below.  With the original thermostat during the hottest part of a summer day the AC system would cycle on and off 2 to 3 times an hour.  The Nest cycles once every hour or less.   I get wide fluctuations in temp.

     

    I have one stage of cooling and 2 stages of forced air gas heat.

     

    The Nest was installed on August 31, 2012.   When the Nest AC is set at 77 it will wait till the temp reaches 78 for the unit to come on.  On a hot day when it is 78 in the room that the thermostat is in, it can be as much as 1.5 degrees warmer in the rooms on the south side of my house.  79.5 is a bit too warm to be comfortable.  Once the AC unit kicks on it stays on till the thermostat reads 76 degrees.  76 feels too cold in the room with the thermostat. 

     

    This situation of the NEST waiting long periods of time before the AC unit runs and then running for a long time, has an unexpected side effect.  High Humidity.  My system runs through a dehumidification cycle at the end of each cooling cycle.  These longer cycle times are giving me less dehumidification, because there are fewer cycles per day, so the indoor humidity stays around 55%.  In AC mode it needs to be lower to maximize comfort.

     

    With the old analog thermostat it was easy to make slight adjustments.  In the summer at night I would have the dial set to straight up 80 in the summer. During the day I would set it to where the line on the dial was not quite touching the 80 degree line.  I was never too hot or too cold.

        Thermostat pic.png      

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Logjammer Champion

    The weather here in Texas is unpredictable.  Back in November I was running AC one day and heat the next. See below.

     

    The Nest in Heat mode does a much better job of controlling the temperature by cycling the unit more often.  Note the stacato rhythm of the Heat cycles.  In Heat mode the temperature never has time to deviate too far from the setting.    Also note that when the AC kicks on it typically stays on longer than it does in Heat mode.

     

    The Nest set to AC lets it get too hot then it lets it get too cold.

    NEST FB ready screen shot.png

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Explorer

      I think LogJammer brings up a good point about the maintenance band. It should easy to add a feature for Nest to allow advanced users to customize their maintenance band with different ranges for heating and cooling. The Nest thermostat allows me to adjust my temperature in fractions of a degree when I turn the dial, why not allow that option for advanced users who want to tweak the Nest for maximum comfort and energy savings? My previous Hunter Model 44550 thermostat allowed me to adjust the maintenance band using jumper settings or dip switches on the control board.

       

      My apologies for getting off topic, but I wanted to mention that I think this is a wonderful idea!

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
         Breezy_Point Contributor

        BrianB Logjammer

         

        I haven't experienced A/C with the Nest yet, so can't speak to how it works in my house. What you describe to me sounds like Nest has a higher maintenance band for A/C then for heat and that would seem odd to me.

         

        I wonder about a couple of things:

        1. Is there a software issue here or

        2. Is this the result of Airwave

         

        i probably wouldn't notice if this was an issue in my home as our A/C run time is very low in our home (one summer it didn't turn on once). If we have a summer like last summer, I may notice, but unlikely.

         

        I would consider adding an improvement suggestion and if you do, make sure you add your vote to it.

        • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
           Logjammer Champion

          Nest Tech Support is tired of hearing from me on the issue of Maintenance Band width and the inability to easily program temperatures to one-tenth of a degree.  I will add a suggestion to make it an added improvement.

           

          You are right, the Nest does have a higher Maintenance band for A/C.  On A/C it is supposedly plus or minus one degree from the set-point.  (I have seen larger deviations than one degree on A/C).  On Heat I believe the Maintenance Band is seven-tenth of a degree.  I may be wrong on this.  Dave T. at Nest Tech Support told me the Maintenance Band on Heat is " a seventh of a degree".  I think he meant .7 degree.

           

          This is not a result of Airwave.  I have Airwave turned on, but it doesn't really do anything with my system.  My furnace has a built in cycle for the fan, that purges the leftover heat or cooling out of the ducts.  On A/C this purge also gives the system added dehumidification at the end of each cycle.  The Nest on A/C is giving me fewer cycles, so I get fewer dehumidification cycles, so my indoor humidity is higher and comfort is lower.  I have emailed Nest Tech Support about this and their response is that Nest doesn't control humidity when in A/C mode.  They soooo do not understand my problems with Nest.   

           

          Usually by mid April here in Texas I will be using the A/C enough to make this lack of capability a big issue.  At that point I will probably just reinstall my old analog thermostat.  I am so disappointed.  It feels like a bad breakup.  I want my relationship with Nest to work.  

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    Our billing cycle runs from the middle of one month to the middle of the next. I installed Nest on the first day of the Nov-Dec cycle of 2012. Here is a four year comparison of the totals of the three month billing cycles that end mid Dec-Feb:

     

    2012-13(with Nest) = $416.66
    2011-12 = $740.72
    2010-11 = $1,179.65
    2009-10 = $1,403.03
    Moreover, with the installation of Nest, energy consumption and conservation are now a part of my family's thought process, which has resulted in markedly lower electricity bills, despite its irrelevance to to our heat consumption.
    The results above put me in mind of the words of P. D. Eastman: ‘I love my house. I love my nest. In all the world. My nest is best!’
    Kind regards,
    Narwhal
    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Contributor

      I like narwhal's comment about his "family's thought process". I know Nest has helped lower my power bill, but having it has also helped me become more conscious of energy use. My electric bill for Jan. was $185. Last year it was $285. I don't know what kind of temp. difference there was year to year, but Nest along with my increased energy awareness had to play a part.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    My bill went from $170 in December 2012 to $102 in January 2013.  I am very impressed with the savings I've seen and I am also really concious about setting the schedule to be as energy efficient as possible.  I know my savings may not be as big next month due to weather changes and my family's changing schedule, but I'm excited to see how quickly I can make the Nest "pay for itself"!

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Kedar Contributor

    I have only had my Nest for about 6 months and it's been a cold winter, so it's hard to say exactly.

     

    However, my heat pump recently stopped working so I've been heating on emergency electric heatnig for a few weeks without knowing it.

     

    Unfortunatly, the Nest is not equipped (software-wise) to detect and report possible failures in the heating system.

     

    So over all, during the past 6 months, I think my heating bill has gone UP since I installed the Nest

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Explorer

      Ouch. That's rough. Hopefully they'll come up with better notifications soon. Did you put that in Product Suggestions? I'd vote for it.

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
        New Nester

        I live in Colorado and have only had my NEST since November.  My house has 2 zones, 2800 square feet, and my heating bills are usually $300-$320/month.  Since I got my NEST, they have been right at about $240/month.  Awesome savings!!!!!  That falls into the 20% range that Nest thinks might be normal.  I can't wait to see what happens this summer with the AC.

         

        When travelling, I was able to see that my daughter had been in the house while I was traveling (which was fine).  There are no mysteries with the motion detector!

         

        I am so fascinated by my NEST that I watch it like a hawk every day, and just that vigilance might be part of the savings too!

         

        Better yet, it is so beautiful!!!!!!

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
        New Nester

        I'm trying to figure out how that would be possible on Nest's end. In other words, how would Nest be able to notify you if your heat pump switched to electricity.  The heat pump would have to send the signal, correct? Nest monitors and controls the heat pump's use, not its power source.

         

        Kind regards,

        • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
           Kedar Contributor

          It seems very simple to me.  My system has been coming on and TRYING to heat with the heat pump. After about an hour, the Nest realized that the house wasn't heating up so it switched to auxiliary heat.  This could be a normal situation if it's really cold out maybe or if a window is open or something.  But if the Nest is CONSTANTLY switching to auxiliary heat for a week, then I would expect at the very  least that it would notify me to tell me that it has detected strange behavior in heating patterns and let me take it from there.

          • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
            New Nester

            I see, so Nest does control the power source for your pump (ability to switch to aux). Is there a symbol on the display that shows when the auxilary source is on?  I could see where a daily energy usage repot that informs you of when the aux was used would be helpful in dialing in the optimal settings for savings and help you aviod the problem you experienced.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Kedar Contributor

    UPDATE:

     

    I posted earlier about how I believe that the Nest has RAISED my heating bill because it seems to randomly raise the heat at night.  (BT: it happened again last night and when I look at the energy usage summary, it says that it was NestWeb that raised the temperature.  It happened at the scheduled time when it was supposed to lower the temp.)

     

    So, I received my electricity bill last week and guess what.  I'm paying $75 MORE in electricity than I did last year and it's been milder

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
      Explorer

      Hey Kedar,  Same thing is happening to mine.  My heating bill has gone thru the roof no pun intended.  The old locked in $40 programmable was more efficient.  I'm wondering if ATCO gas has somehow been able to hack my system and turn it at night(haha).....that been said I'm very disappointed and am ready to pack the nest in.  I've dumbed the nest down from it trying to self lean to locking the ability of my family to change the temp to see if it will make a difference.  It's costed me an additional $150 to 200 over the last 4 months on my gas bill. Not very happy!  I was hoping the programmers at NEST would get smart and allow you to decide if you want NEST to optimize your efficiency of the system and override comfort.

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
         Breezy_Point Contributor

        scottys what part of the country do you live in? Much, but not all of the country has had a dramatically colder winter. For example, in Minneapolis, the averages temperatures for Jan., Feb. and Mar. (through the 29th) are 7, 9, and 22 degrees colder (respectively) than last year. Even a few degrees change is noticeable and can make a significant difference on the heating bill.

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
         jcanavera Champion

        It has been colder in this part of the country so we have used more gas although ours is tainted in that we have a gas fireplace which we operate quite a bit.  So most of our furnace energy usage with the Nest is morning as we move the home out of set back, and late night when we shut the fireplace down prior to bed and the temperature falls.

         

        My comments are related only to those of you using gas as your heating source.  The issues with electric heat pumps and auxiliary heat are well documented and there definitely some issues there.

         

        I previously had a Honeywell programmable thermostat prior to Nest, and my Nest has been in a year at this point.  When you look at the Nest relating to my old Honeywell you will see a temperature schedule which is a mirror image. So where can the savings be?  In my case there are three wild cards in the equation. 

         

        First is temperature.  Based on Noaa records we have had an increase of cooling degree days of 816.  It has been colder here. (Here's the link for many US cities http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/cdus/degree_days/wctyh ddy.txt

         

        Second wild card is the Early-On feature.  My Honeywell had the same feature.  In this case the Nest wins since my Honeywell built its program based on recovery time with no ability to look at outdoor temperatures.  What I found was that it took the Honeywell a much longer time in trying to predict early-on times since if we had a cold snap, it had no idea of that.  If it was 20 F outside one morning and then 0 F outside the next day, startup time with the Honeywell would be identical.  It was only when the Honeywell missed the set point did it attempt to start earlier.  But that took days for it to master, and when it turned warm it started way too early and we wasted energy.  Again it would take days for it finally get settings back in line.  So the Nest wins in the morning when temps move quickly down since we have an improved comfort level.  It wins again in the morning when temps don't fall as far since we use less fuel because early-on starts later.

         

        The other savings wild card is auto-away.  With the Honeywell, to go to a lower setting in the winter when we left the house required us to manually set the temperature down and then hit the hold button.  9 times out of 10, we would walk out of the house without doing any set back.  With the Nest we are getting the advantage of auto-away which saves fuel.

         

        So if you compare the Nest to my Honeywell programmable and if I turned off auto-away and early-on, and considered the turning off of the early-on feature of the Honeywell, then there would be no savings.  So if you aren't using these features with your Nest, then there isn't a reason in the world other than weather conditions that would cause your usage to vary one bit, unless you can take advantage of nest being able to have more set points in a day than most programmables.

         

        So scottys when you tell us that you've disabled all the Nest features, and are running the exact same programming as your old thermostat, I have to look at the wild cards and all there are to consider is outside temps.  There shouldn't be any reason why you should use more fuel, and if you did I'm sure you'd be a lot warmer.  The only way to make a proper comparison is to forget about the costs and look at the degree days and the number of therms that were recorded by your gas company.

         

        Now with air conditioning it was a different story and with the 4th hottest summer in recorded history in St. Louis, we saw a 3% decrease in electrical consumption.  Again the wild cards, temperature (we definitely know it was hotter), we had auto-away, and airwave.  The temperature settings with Nest were identical to the Honeywell.  Early on isn't a factor since we stay 77 F 24 hrs a day.

        • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
          Explorer

          I've dumbed it down only after exhausting all reasons (phone calls to Nest 3 times over the last 4 months or so).  The system was turning on in the middle of the night even though no one was up and the schedule was set.  I live in frigid Calgary AB Canada.....Located in Southern Alberta, Calgary endures very cold winters. .

           

          I don't have air conditioning ...I have forced air ng.


          What does early on have to do with it?  Early on only allows the unit to pre-heat the house so you're comfortable when your feet hit the floor. 


          Listen, I didn't have a Honeywell. It was a generic programmable I had for 14 years.  It had no ability to early on.  It did what it was told.  Here are the temps per quarter in Calgary below.  Negligible difference, yet my gas consumption went up 1.5 times????   I'll let you know how this next month goes now that I turned Next into my old programmable thermostat after using it for 5-6 months and locked off the ability to turn it up outside the programming.

           

          I want this Next Thermostat to work, I paid good money for it and want it to save me more money than a average $40 - $80 dollar programmable thermostat.

           

          Calgary average temp

          Yr - QuarterMean Temp
          2011 - Q28.2 °C
          2011 - Q315.7 °C
          2011 - Q40.9 °C
          2012 - Q1-3.1 °C
          2012 - Q29.5 °C
          2012 - Q316.7 °C
          2012 - Q4-3.9 °C
          2013 - Q1-3.5 °C
          • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
             Kedar Contributor

            I think I can add something to this.  I recently called Nest because I was having a problem with my Nest turn up the temperature during the night for no apparent reason.  It turns out (according to Charles at the support desk) that having Heat Pump Balancing turned on is what was doing it.  The Nest was deciding that I was setting the temp too low at night so it was turning it up to reduce the amount of Aux heat needed in the morning. 

             

            I'm not sure if this applies to your situation since you heat with gas and I have an electric furnace and heat pump

          • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
             jcanavera Champion

            I guess the question is in the detail.  Your point was the Nest increases your gas bill.  it looks in Q4 and  Q1 you saw it get colder this year.  At least 10% colder for Q1, and a much higher % for Q4.  That's going to account for more fuel usage.  Early on can cost you more fuel If you consider that your furnace is going to be activating earlier in the morning assuming you set back at night and you are setting the same temps and recovery time of day as your old programmable.  You noted that the system turned on in middle of the night.  Not enough info here to understand.  My furnace turns on at night too, to maintain nighttime temperature settings.

             

            My point in comparing my Honeywell was the fact that my usage went up vs. last year also.  But there are climate reasons why, but my Nest when you compare equal features can mitigate some of that increase.  A feature like early on which I assume you initially used can increase your cost if you consider that your old thermostat didn't have that.

             

            FInally using dollars spent as the consideration of the success of the Nest can be skewed by utility rates.  Usage is the thing you have to measure.  In my area gas prices are adjusted quarterly to account for wholesale costs to the supplier.  In our case costs are below comparable costs last season.  I've actually spent less on fuel than last year, but I'm not claiming that Nest lowered my bill.

             

            If your Nest is not following schedule then you have a problem.  If it is, then short of a colder season and early on and the cost of fuel, you might need to get the meter checked.

            • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
              Explorer

              we'll keep this simple.

              I have only been talking about gigaJoules gas consumption increasing 50 percent increase.  I don't know why your slandering what I say.  maybe you are paid to do this?  For your info I turned the early on off when I installed the nest.  By the way a 3 deg difference out of one month average does not equate to a 10 percent increase in gas consumption.  Besides  my gas consumption (gigaJoules) went up 50 percent.  I'm not about to get out my old heat transfer notes to prove this. 

              The fact remains I want nest to figure out why a simple forced draft nat gas system cannot optimize fuel consumption and keep a minimum comfort.

              By the way the unit was turning on to heat to 21 deg C when the schedule was set to 16.5 deg C and early on was turned off.  Its got a mind of its own.  I turned the self learning mode off so it doesn't do that anymore.  I think it had some conflicts using manual scheduling and self learning mode.

              I love the idea of Nest with the ability to wirelessly control it and possibility for self learning but Nest has to iron out the wrinkles so it can optimize/minimize fuel consumption as an option for owners. It may work for heat pumps but for ng forced draft systems not yet.

              • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
                 jcanavera Champion

                No slander and no I have no connection to Nest in any way other than shelling out my $250 like you.

                 

                Your chart showed that Q1 of 2012 your mean temp was -3.1 C..  In Q1 of 2013 it was -3.5 C.  Now in rough figures 10% of -3.1 C is -.31 C.  Add -.31 to -3.1 and you get -3.41 pretty much closer to -3.5 so in my mind your temperature is Q1 of 2013 is around 10% colder in 2013 than it was in 2012.  And your mean temp between Q4 of 2012 and Q4 of 2011 is a heck of a lot colder from a % factor.

                 

                You never mentioned in earlier posts that you had turned off early on at installation.  In all cases I was just trying to figure out what could caused you a higher usage amount, and early on could havebeen a factor.

                 

                As I said the question is in the detail.  As a person who used to provide assistance to folks using computers, missing information can lead folks down the wrong path.  My intentions during this discussion was trying to assist you in trying to figure out why you had that unusual usage.  I think we have now gone through most of the external factors and if you note that in my last paragraph I did note that if the Nest was jumping off schedule, then I agreed you had a problem.  I apologize if I have offended you.

        • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
           Kedar Contributor

          Just a note to let you know that I've resolved my problem with the help of Charles from support.  I've posted a complete explanation here:

          Weird temperature changes FINALLY explained! (aka: what is heat pump balancing?)

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     jcanavera Champion

    Energy.pngWhat is interesting in the above picture was that the 2012 summer in St. Louis was the 4 hottest on record.  Note that I installed my Nest in late March.  Other than July, from June through the end of the year my electric use was down.  Especially note the months where the monthly average temperatures were similar.  Note that Airwave was released April 5th.    I'm not sure how long it took to get activated.  Overall the utility noted that my energy usage was down 3% from the previous year. 

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    Explorer

    Coming from having used a programmable thermostat prior to Nest, we have achieved NO net energy savings for our furnace.

     

    The first month was a "placebo effect" of savings since the Nest temperature calibration is wrong. Nest tech support tells us the Nest can be up to 4 degrees off from a digital thermometer (we have two different ones for calibration), and Nest consistently reads 2-3 degrees WARMER than the thermometers and our old prog thermostat.

     

    So we set the Nest to the same time/temperature settings as our previous programmable and FROZE ourselves in the first month. Tech support said to simply turn up the temperature, so now we burn more energy than before, so gas consumption is similar to before.

     

    Also, there is no programmable duty cycle FAN control on Nest, so in order to balance our house temp (there can be a 4.7 degree difference between upstairs and downstairs) we have to run the variable speed Fan. But since Nest is either ON or OFF, it is a hassle to control it (three menu levels down), and hence we burn more electricity running the fan compared to our programmable thermostat which had a simple Fan duty cycle built-in.

     

    We feel that most folks who are saving energy with Nest either

    1) Didn't have a properly set programmable thermostat before, or

    2) Are achieving a "placebo" effect because Nest temperature is calibrated wrong

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
       Moderator-Eric Nest Employee

      Hi NokiaFanToo,

       

      Sorry about the late reply.

       

      Nest does read temperature differently than other thermostats and thermometers, and if you've got around the same schedule that you had before relative to the higher temperature, you may not see much energy saving, but this is where our Nest Sense features come in.

       

      You're correct in thinking that a lot of folks save energy with Nest because their previous thermostats weren't programmed correctly - Especially with Auto-Schedule and Auto-Away, those who don't manually program the Nest can still get the benefits of a programmed schedule that is set for them, and then save more energy when they leave when Auto-Away kicks in.

       

      For our users with heat pumps, Heat Pump balance will avoid using Aux heat as much as possible. In the summer months, Airwave will also help save energy, cutting the runtime of your A/C compressor by up to 30%.

       

      However, I do understand that its inconvenient to lose the fan circulation option from your previous thermostat, and you may want to vote up the feature request below if you'd like to see this feature on a future release.

       

      Circulate Air Mode

       

      Thanks,

       

      Eric E

      • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
        New Nester

        Had a normal programmed thermosat, got the nest and my bill went up, it seems it stays on longer and the temp reading is always 2 degrees higher than the old one shows, it goes on more than it should, love what it does but will give a little more time, and if no improvement back it goes.

        • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
          Nest Employee

          Hey randy,

           

          I am sorry to hear you are having this experience. Although some variance in ambient temperature reading is normal, the fact your system is staying on longer might mean there is something going on that we will want to take a look at with you. Please call us at 855-4MY-NEST (855-469-6378).

           

          Thanks -

           

          Rhiana B.

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
    New Nester

    My utility company, PG&E in California, provides energy usage analysis reports to it's customers. Before getting the Nest I was using about 20% more natural gas than similar energy efficient homes. Now I am using about 22% less than similar energy efficient homes. Nice!!

    • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
       loghound New Nester

      This is an interesting thread and it sparked me to try to understand my data as I "felt" like it was working -- I went back through my records and found that I purchased my Nest in late January 2012.  Then I downloaded my PG&E data since 2008 or so and compared pre-and post-nest data

       

      This is therms of gas -- My summer usage is (obviously) unchanged as I don't run the heat :-) but the winter appears to be improved over previous norms.

       

      The other thing of interest -- In looking back since 2008 I've had the lowest gas usage in 8 of 12 months since installing Nest (e.g. I've hit all time lows in gas usage on a per month basis).  Again I don't think the last 12 months have been unseasonable warm or cold so it's pretty compelling

       

      Finally if I look at 12 months gas usage I've saved almost exactly 20% over pre-nest usage (a total of 150 therms a year) -- Since I usually go over baseline these 150 therms were at the highest tier.

       

       

      Of course I have as much less data post-nest but still and didn't factor in weather (although I don't think it was an unusually cold or warm year last year) -- it's encouraging


      If you are interested you can get the raw data (xls file) here  http://bit.ly/13GGfya

       

      Screenshot_042913_113558_AM.jpg

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Michigan New Nester

    We averaged about 19% gas savings with Nest, as compared to a White Rogers programmable thermostat that we never programmed. Our biggest savings probably come from being away on weekends and forgetting to turn down the heat. Nest Auto-Away takes care of that now.

     

    The calculations are based on monthly CCF/day, adjusted to account for Heat Degree Days by comparing each month to the same month a year ago. Gas savings were $140 over 11 months. We also calculated electricity savings over hot summer months of 2012, adjusted for Cool Degree Days. They were about $63. It looks like the Nest pay-off period will be less than 1.5 years for us. Now we are thinking of installing Nest in our weekend cabin with a heat pump... the payoff there will most likely be much longer. It's also unclear just how well it'll work with a modern WaterFurnace system there, so we are not rushing to install.

     

  • Re: How much are you saving monthly with Nest?
     Mykll New Nester

    I bought my Nest about 4 months before I even knew what house I was going to build.  The first thing I did when I got my keys was the final walk-through with the builder.  The second thing minutes after he left was to take out the installed new shiny thermostat and install my Nest.  Been running since July last year and I love it.  Periodically I have the glimmer of an idea of re-installing the old one to see how much my bill increases because I really am curious how much Nest could be saving me.  But naw, I will just keep loving my Nest in blissfull ignorance.  I should have ran the original thermostat first for a month or two and then upgraded to see the savings.  Going without all of the Nest features would drive me insane after a day or two.